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The Hive inches closer to finding a new home in Durango

Future of youth program has been in doubt since running into lease problems
Hunter Bultemeir, a skateboard coach with The Hive, begins tearing down the skatepark in the back of The Hive at 1150 Main Ave. on Thursday after the organizations lease was not renewed. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Hive has begun dismantling its skate park – a staple of its youth-focused programming – marking the beginning of the end to its home in the 1100 block of Main Avenue in downtown Durango.

The organization announced in April that it was searching for a new home after its landlord declined to renew its lease. But, in a positive sign, the organization said it may be zeroing in on a new location.

Executive Director Kelsie Borland declined to specify where The Hive may be relocating, saying the deal is not yet finalized, but she said the organization will have a space during the summer.

The Hive’s last day at its 1150 Main Ave. location is June 30.

Alex Vick, creative director with The Hive, in the front office of its soon-to-be-vacated location in downtown Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Over the last three years, The Hive has become a bastion of youth alternative culture. It has been an institution for kids whose interest may not fit the traditional mold for after-school activities and clubs.

Youth participation continues to grow with its programming.

When the organization first opened its doors in 2021, it served up to 200 kids. Over the last two years, it has served an average of just over 400. In total, the organization serves around 456 people, including adults who are part of The Hive’s programming.

“It’s a need,” Borland said. “There's been a lot of people discovering us and spreading the word and schools partnering with us to utilize this much-needed space.”

The organization is still looking for donations as it transitions to a new location. Borland said it will need funding for renovations.

“The big thing right now is we're still trying to operate a program,” she said. “And now we have all these extra expenses.”

The Hive offers 80% scholarships for its summer programming, specifically geared to support kids from low-income households.

The Hive is located in the 1100 block of Main Avenue in downtown location. It expects to move into a new location in coming months after its lease was not renewed. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

While The Hive’s future appeared to be in doubt earlier this spring, Borland said she looks forward to a new chapter in the nonprofit’s history.

“We get to move into a new space where our landlord supports us and wants us there,” she said. “This is just growth.”

Those who have worked with youths in Durango have applauded The Hive’s services.

Durango School District 9-R Superintendent Karen Cheser joined the Hive’s board of directors and has been an advocate for its mission.

“The Hive is an extremely critical resource for our students, especially as we address social-emotional wellness,” Cheser said. “There aren't enough after-school, weekend and summer options for adolescents. The Hive fulfills this important need, especially in areas our students want to explore.”

Durango Police Department school resource officer supervisor Sgt. Will Sweetwood said The Hive gives kids a better way to use their time. Sweetwood has spent the last 17 years with the DPD and says programs like The Hive benefit kids because it gives them structure.

“It's more of an outlet for them. Because a lot of those kids are not involved in regular school activities, school clubs or sports,” Sweetwood said. “It gives them another outlet for varying interests.”

While Sweetwood does not usually interact with The Hive for his job, he does spend a considerable amount of time around youths when he is in the schools. He doesn’t want to see the program go away.

“If it keeps them away from where they could get into trouble, I think it’s very beneficial to them,” he said.

9-R spokeswoman Karla Sluis said The Hive has been a space where students can feel a sense of belonging.

“(A sense of belonging) is important for everyone, but critical for at-risk teens who feel unseen,” she said. “I'm certain the support behind the Hive will carry it through a tough transition and they will keep doing their important work.”

The Hive expects to announce its new summer location in the next few weeks, according to a news release from the organization.


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